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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2011 Feb 28;13(8):3179-86. doi: 10.1039/c0cp01481h. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Shear ordered diblock copolymers with tuneable optical properties.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK.


A series of high molecular weight poly(styrene-b-isoprene) block copolymers with optical properties defined by composition in a non-selective solvent were studied using simultaneous ultra small angle X-ray scattering (USAXS) and optical spectrometry. A small magnitude shear produces ordered and oriented states in the copolymer solutions that persist for extended periods of time, and also have superior optical properties that are directly attributable to the mesoscopic block copolymer (BCP) morphology. We have demonstrated that the optical transmission of these materials can be tuned by the addition of low molecular weight poly(isoprene) and poly(styrene) to swell their respective domains within the diblock copolymer. The optical transmission peak for the diblocks could be tuned; from 380 nm-440 nm for the 670k diblock, 425 nm-540 nm for the 850k diblock and 541 nm-625 nm for the 1 million diblock by altering the solution concentration and composition. The full width at half maximum that can be achieved for the optical transmission peaks is as small as 15 nm at 473 nm with a Δλ/λ of 0.03, highlighting the high quality ordering in these systems. Also a small shift in the transmission peak wavelength was observed across a wide angle of view (15 nm at 30°) suggesting that these materials could be used for large area narrow band optical filters.

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